Spirituality, mindfulness and substance abuse

Department of Psychology, University of Washington Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States
Addictive Behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 09/2005; 30(7):1335-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.01.010
Source: PubMed


A growing body of research suggests that mindfulness-based therapies may be effective in treating a variety of disorders including stress, chronic pain, depression and anxiety. However, there are few valid and reliable measures of mindfulness. Furthermore, mindfulness is often thought to be related to spirituality, given its roots in Buddhist tradition, but empirical studies on this relationship are difficult to find. The present study: (1) tested the reliability and validity of a new mindfulness measure, the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI), (2) explored the relationship between mindfulness and spirituality, and (3) investigated the relationship between mindfulness and/or spirituality and alcohol and tobacco use in an undergraduate college population (N=196). Results support the reliability of the FMI and suggest that spirituality and mindfulness may be separate constructs. In addition, smoking and frequent binge-drinking were negatively correlated with spirituality scores; as spirituality scores increased the use of alcohol and tobacco decreased. Thus, spirituality may be related to decreased substance use. In contrast, a positive relationship between mindfulness and smoking/frequent binge-drinking behavior was uncovered, and warrants further investigation.

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    • "Both high levels of personal spirituality and high levels of positive psychology traits have been associated with decreased levels of depressive symptoms (Leigh et al. 2005; Tugade and Fredrickson 2004) and substance use (Berry and York 2011; Bonelli et al. 2012; Trinidad and Johnson 2002). To the best of our knowledge, however, research has yet to identify the protective contribution of spirituality or positive psychology, per se, to depression or substance abuse while controlling for the effects of the other. "
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate the relationship between personal spirituality and positive psychology traits as potentially presented in multiple profiles, rather than monolithically across a full sample. A sample of 3966 adolescents and emerging adults (aged 18-25, mean = 20.19, SD = 2.08) and 2014 older adults (aged 26-82, mean = 38.41, SD = 11.26) completed a survey assessing daily spiritual experiences (relationship with a Higher Power and sense of a sacred world), forgiveness, gratitude, optimism, grit, and meaning. To assess the relative protective benefits of potential profiles, we also assessed the level of depressive symptoms and frequency of substance use (tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and heavy alcohol use). Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to examine common subgroupings of study participants across report on personal spirituality and positive psychology scales in each age cohort, with potential difference between latent classes then tested in level of depressive symptoms and degree of substance use. LCA determined a four-class and a three-class best-fitting models for the younger and older cohorts, respectively. Level of personal spirituality and level of positive psychology traits were found to coincide in 83 % of adolescents and emerging adults and in 71 % of older adults, suggesting personal spirituality and positive psychology traits go hand in hand. A minority subgroup of "virtuous humanists" showed high levels of positive psychology traits but low levels of personal spirituality, across both age cohorts. Whereas level of depression was found to be inversely associated with positive psychology traits and personal spirituality, uniquely personal spirituality was protective against degree of substance use across both age cohorts. Overall interpretation of the study findings suggests that personal spirituality may be foundational to positive psychology traits in the majority of people.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of Religion and Health
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    • "Kohls et al. (2009a, b) also identified two factors (i.e., " presence " and " acceptance " ) of the short form and indicated that the negative correlation observed with anxiety and depression is entirely due to the acceptance factor of mindfulness (Kohls et al. 2009a, b). FMI-14 has been validated in different populations and demonstrated to possess good psychometric qualities (Heidenreich et al. 2006; Leigh et al. 2005; Trousselard et al. 2010). Some research has proved that a two-factorial solution with the subfacets " presence " and " acceptance " provided a better overall fit than the unidimensional solution for the FMI-13 (excluding one particular misfitting item, number 13; Sauer et al. 2011, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) in a nonclinical Chinese college student sample. Effective data were collected from 718 students of four distinct universities in north, northwest, southeast, northeast China, and 124 of them were retested after 2 weeks. The Chinese version of Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI-13) had acceptable internal consistency and test–retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the two-factor solution was better than one-factor solution. The scores of revised FMI-13 had significant negative correlation with the trait of anxiety and depression, and positive correlation with self-esteem, and relations between mindfulness and anxiety, depression, and self-esteem were more due to the acceptance factor than the presence factor. The Chinese version of FMI-13 has acceptable psychometric quality and it can be used to measure mindfulness in Chinese population.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Mindfulness
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    • "Tools that can accurately discriminate between meditators and non-meditators, such as the MINDSENS index, are urgently needed in the field of mindfulness [17]. Unfortunately, most mindfulness measures are unable to differentiate between meditators and non-meditators [39] or report unexpected mindfulness levels when comparing control subjects and substance abusers [40]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mindfulness has been described as an inherent human capability that can be learned and trained, and its improvement has been associated with better health outcomes in both medicine and psychology. Although the role of practice is central to most mindfulness programs, practice-related improvements in mindfulness skills is not consistently reported and little is known about how the characteristics of meditative practice affect different components of mindfulness. The present study explores the role of practice parameters on self-reported mindfulness skills. A total of 670 voluntary participants with and without previous meditation experience (n = 384 and n = 286, respectively) responded to an internet-based survey on various aspects of their meditative practice (type of meditation, length of session, frequency, and lifetime practice). Participants also completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and the Experiences Questionnaire (EQ). The group with meditation experience obtained significantly higher scores on all facets of FFMQ and EQ questionnaires compared to the group without experience. However different effect sizes were observed, with stronger effects for the Observing and Non-Reactivity facets of the FFMQ, moderate effects for Decentering in EQ, and a weak effect for Non-judging, Describing, and Acting with awareness on the FFMQ. Our results indicate that not all practice variables are equally relevant in terms of developing mindfulness skills. Frequency and lifetime practice - but not session length or meditation type - were associated with higher mindfulness skills. Given that these 6 mindfulness aspects show variable sensitivity to practice, we created a composite index (MINDSENS) consisting of those items from FFMQ and EQ that showed the strongest response to practice. The MINDSENS index was able to correctly discriminate daily meditators from non-meditators in 82.3% of cases. These findings may contribute to the understanding of the development of mindfulness skills and support trainers and researchers in improving mindfulness-oriented practices and programs.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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